Assessment of Strategic Direction (Report by the Parthenon Group)

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission held a number of discussions with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during the months following the end of the 82nd Texas Legislature. For more than a decade, the TSLAC (along with other state library agencies throughout the United States) has partnered with the Gates Foundation to establish and improve public access computing centers in libraries across the country.

The Foundation has a vested interest in seeing that state library agencies remain strong leaders and thus capable partners. They expressed an interest in helping these agencies in their strategic planning, in light of the budget reductions in many of the public library programs. The Foundation offered to provide the services of a management consulting firm used by the foundation for a number of other projects. Therefore, in September 2011, the TSLAC and another state began working with The Parthenon Group (www.parthenon.com) on this Assessment of Strategic Direction. Work was completed in mid-October and was presented to a November meeting of state libraries that was sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

This document was not intended to focus on all aspects of the commission’s work, but rather targets the public library aspects of the agency’s work carried out by the Library Development & Networking Division and the Talking Book Program.

The agency is preparing to develop two long range plans by mid-2012. The first is the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Five Year Plan for Texas 2013 – 2017. The current and previous plans can be found at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/pubs/lstaplan/index.html. The second is the Agency Strategic Plan 2013-2017 which is due in early July. The current and previous plans can be found at www.tsl.texas.gov/pubs/strategic-plans.html.

This Assessment of Strategic Direction is one tool the agency can use to prepare these long range plans.

This report will be discussed at a meeting of the Library and Archives Commission on January 9, 2012.

View PDF of report

Page last modified: January 6, 2012